chronic styleholidays

Gift Guide For Beauty Lovers (+ Giveaway!)


Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers & Giveaway Sponsored by A New Kind of Normal

It is that time of year and in addition to love shopping, I love shopping for others this time of year! Today’s post features this year’s Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers (ahem, like myself!). I had planned on getting these gift guides up last week but as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I got a little held up. I’ll make it up to you. I promise (hint: there’s a giveaway at the end of this post!).

Just like the focus of Chronic Style, this gift guide and the ones to follow are focused on affordable yet quality products. I know like many spoonies, budgets are limited but that doesn’t mean we can’t treat our friends and loved ones to some amazing gifts.

Enough rambling, let’s talk some amazing beauty deals in this year’s Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers:

1. Colourpop Blitzed Eyeshadows: I mentioned this set in my fall makeup wish list but it is so beautiful, it is worth mentioning twice. I am a huge fan of Colourpop. The prices are amazing and the products are out of this world (I plan to do an entire post dedicated to the brand after the New Year in a series of my favorite affordable makeup brands so I’ll try to keep my gushing to a minimum). The shadows included in this set are all absolutely stunning and one thing I love about Colourpop is that they always give swatches of the products on a variety of skintones so you always have an idea of how the color will work on your skin. All Colourpop shadows are $5 so this set of 6 is the most expensive set on the list coming in at $30 but you can use the code THANKSBABE to save $5 and they are so absolutely worth every penny!

  1. Colourpop Foxy Ultra Matte To-Go Set: This is another amazing holiday gift set from Colourpop. I have been a passenger on the matte liquid lipstick train for some time now and Colourpop Ultra Matte Lips are some of my favorites so this gift set is perfect for those who may be new to liquid lipsticks, new to Colourpop, or just enjoy a variety of lipstick shades. This set includes 5 mini-sized ultra matte lippies in some of their best selling shades for $20. They also have another holiday set called Kitty Ultra Matte To-Go which includes all new, limited edition shades. Both are equally gorgeous and on my wish list!

  2. ELF Artistry Eyeshadow Palette: This palette is a new discovery and one I cannot wait to get my hands on! If you are familiar with higher end makeup brands, the setup of this palette looks a lot like the Urban Decay Vice palettes but for less than half the price coming in at $20. ELF is another one of those brands that is very affordable but has some amazing, quality products in their lineup. This is a limited edition palette for the holidays and includes 20 shades ranging from neutral to vibrant in a variety of finishes. The palette also houses a large mirror which definitely adds bonus points in my book!

  3. ELF Illuminating Palette: Lately there are two things I cannot get enough of: liquid lipsticks and highlighting powders. I’ve already mentioned some of my favorite lipsticks so now its time to talk highlights. This palette includes four different shades of illuminating powders to suit any skin tone and for only $6, this makes a perfect stocking stuffer!

5. ULTA Sophisticated 4 Piece Brush Set: You can never have too many makeup brushes (does anyone else hate washing brushes as much as I do?) and this cute little set is a perfect stocking stuffer and is also perfect for holiday travel. The set is a $52 value but is a steal at the regular price of $20 and to make it even better, it is currently on sale for only $10 making it another perfect stocking stuffer!

  1. Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush & Contour Palette: As I mentioned a few minutes ago, I have become a sucker for highlighting which makes this palette a dream as it includes contour, blush, and highlighting powders. Makeup Revolution began as a UK Brand but has now made its way to the US in ULTA which is uber exciting as they are another affordable brand with a wide range of products. I have not gotten my hands on a lot of Makeup Revolution products yet (with a big emphasis on yet) but I have tried some of their highlighting and bronzing powders and they are stunning which is why I had to add this palette to the list! For only $10, the palette includes 8 shades of blushes, bronzer, and highlight. The palette comes in two shades: Sugar & Spice (which is described as a “pinky palette combines warm and cool tones to help you achieve your ideal demure flush”) and Hot Spice (which is described as “rusty neutrals and pinky peaches smolder with intensity in this spicy collection”). Did I mention these palettes are only $10?
  2. NYX Cosmetics Rocker Chic Eyeshadow Palette: This was another item that showed up on my fall makeup wish list and since posting, I have added two out of the three palettes to my collection and I am in love. I have been a big fan of NYX for quite a while and these little palettes pack quite a punch. I own California Dreaming and Tainted Love and definitely wouldn’t mind rounding out my collection with Heart of Gold. Each palette contains five vibrant shadows that allow you to take your look from soft to rockin’ and the fact that the palettes are studded just makes my rocker heart go pitter-patter. The palettes are regularly priced at $17.99 but are currently on sale for $13.49.

  3. Essence How To Make Your Face Glow Palette: This is another great all-in-one palette to keep your face glowing at holiday and New Year’s Eve parties. Essence is another affordable brand that surprises you with many products that pack a beautiful punch. This handy palette includes a bronzer, blusher, and highlighter along with a guide to achieve different looks for only $9.99. This palette makes a great stocking stuffer or party gift for playing Dirty Santa (or White Elephant as its sometimes called).


Some other options include giving a gift voucher for beauty subscription boxes such as Ipsy or Birchbox to name a few (these are two of my favorites).

Of course another gift option for your beauty lover is to make your own gift box or stocking including your favorite beauty items like this:

Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers Giveaway Sponsored By A New Kind of Normal



I’ve compiled a lot of my favorite beauty items into a beautifully decorated Christmas box and one of YOU will be the recipient! The box contains some of my favorite powders, highlighters, mascara, eye shadow, eye shadow bases, lippies, nail polishes, and more! This box is full to the brim!

This giveaway is open to anyone in the US and will run through Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

To enter this giveaway:

  1. *Mandatory Entry*: Leave me a comment telling me what beauty product you would add to this gift guide for beauty lovers with a link to the item so we can all check it out!
  2. For an additional entry: Tweet about this giveaway and leave me a separate comment letting me know that you did with the URL of your tweet.
  3. For another additional entry: Share about this giveaway on any other social media platform (Facebook, Instragram, etc) and come back here and leave me a separate comment letting me know that you did with the URL of your post!


There you have it folks! My 2015 Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers! I hope you enjoyed it and got some shopping ideas for friends and loved ones (and entered the giveaway of course!).

Stay tuned for the rest of the week as I will be sharing my Gift Guide for Spoonies and my Gift Guide for Bloggers. See you soon!


P.S. If you want to save even more money while doing your holiday shopping (especially if you are an online shopper like myself), be sure to check out Ebates. You earn cash back on just about everywhere you shop online and Ebates also keeps track of current promo/coupon code offers so no more scrambling between different sites looking for the best deals. Ebates often offers double cash back which makes the deals even sweeter! There is even a plugin you can add to your web browser so it basically does all the work for you so all you have to do is shop and see your cash back add up. There is a mobile app as well to use on the go. This is not sponsored but I am a huge fan of saving money which makes me a huge fan of Ebates. I have linked my referral code (I am all about 100% transparency) so if you’d rather not use it, I totally understand but I still recommend signing up directly on the Ebates site so you get the sign up bonus & start earning cash back right away. 

P.S.S. Just as an FYI, this gift guide, nor are any of the gift guides in this series sponsored. I am just sharing my favorite products and brands with you guys and the giveaway in this post was put together by yours truly. Just want to make sure its all out on the table 🙂

chronic illness

Another Obstruction: Not Quite The Thanksgiving I’d Hoped For

Another Obstruction: Not Quite The Thanksgiving I Was Hoping For

We had been counting down the days to Thanksgiving. Not just because we were looking forward to the food, time with family, and the shopping (let’s be honest – I love a good deal). We were counting the days because ALL of this was going to be happening at the beach. Yes, the BEACH. With the fight for disability still ongoing at the time and the way my health seemed to tank even lower than we thought possible this past year, we were most definitely vacation-deprived and could not wait to get the heck out of dodge and spend some time away. The fact that this time away was occurring at a place where we could listen to the ocean waves and stick our toes in the sand (albeit cold sand) made it even better.

My parents drove down to our place and then we were all going to drive east together for a week of family and relaxation at their beach condo. I hadn’t been feeling hot but that wasn’t anything new so we worked hard to get everything packed on Sunday night and the plan was to pick Abby up after lunch at school that Monday and to head towards the coast.

Unfortunately, my “normal” kicked up to a higher level of sick that Sunday night. Since I was up sick, John went to sleep with Abby since my parents were in the guest room (that way I can have lights and the TV on as a distraction and he could still get some sleep).  I continued to get worse through the night and my mom ended up getting up to be with me (mother’s love right there – I’m 34 but I still need my mama). It eventually got to a high level that was way too familiar and I knew I was in trouble.

Coffee grounds.

If you have ever had a bowel obstruction, then you will know exactly what I mean.

Instead of heading to the beach at lunchtime on Monday, I was headed to the ER. Thank God He knew where I was headed and He put an amazing team in place when I got there. The nurse landed the IV first try so they were able to get fluids and meds started right away.

My trip to radiology confirmed my fear and what my gut was literally telling me: another small bowel obstruction.

Thankfully, because I knew the signs and know my body, we caught it in the early stages. When they were working on getting me admitted, one of the hospitalists wanted to start a NG tube and even after I shared my previous NG tube nightmare experience, she was adamant that the tube be put in and the fact that I was “scared” shouldn’t be a factor. Fear wasn’t the issue. It was way more than being “scared.” The issue was that there was something anatomically wrong inside me that made inserting a NG tube a problem so I asked to speak with another hospitalist. When I explained the situation to her, she looked at my scans and backed me. She said that forcing the issue and going in blind could cause some major damage so she wanted to hold off to see what the next day’s scans said and if things were getting worse, then she would call in a surgeon.

I felt so strong not only standing up for myself to make sure that I was heard but for also being my own advocate and knowing my body and my medical history well enough to take on a hospitalist that didn’t know my history. I was wearing my “Be A Badass Everyday” awareness bracelet from FJJCreations and I totally felt like I earned my badass status for the day.


Thankfully, since we were able to catch it so quickly, we were able to clear the obstruction and jumpstart the illeus (a section of bowel that becomes paralyzed) with NPO and meds within three days. I had a couple bouts of really low blood sugar that required quick intervention which were not fun at all so I definitely caught a glimpse of what its like for John to live everyday with diabetes and its not fun. The first time I went from 44 to 248 in under 5 minutes and it was the most miserable feeling ever. Thankfully, they were a bit more careful the next time around.

The bad news is that this obstruction occurred up high near the sight of where my gallbladder was removed meaning adhesions have already started working their way up. My previous obstruction have been lower in the abdomen where the small and large bowel connect. This one was located closer to the junction of the stomach and small bowel (basically, exactly where my gallbladder was located). My adhesions are spreading rapidly considering that surgery was less than four months ago which increases the chances of another bowel obstruction occurring due to adhesions.

The good news is that the doctor that took over my care once I was admitted put me on a new medication (called Relistor) that blocks opioid receptors in the gut that would allow me to keep taking the pain medication I need without having such a dramatic impact on the function of my bowels. It means giving myself a shot in the stomach every day from now until who knows when but it keeps my bowels moving which in turn can lower the chance of a bowel obstruction occurring due to an illeus and has allowed me to actually eat a solid meal every once in a while.

The first shot at home was a little scary since they didn’t give me any kind of training in the hospital (thankfully I’m married to a diabetic so he showed me the ropes) but I can now give myself a shot without wanting to hyperventilate. Another badass point for me!

So while we didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving at the beach like we had planned, I am thankful that I got out of the hospital just in time to enjoy Thanksgiving day at home with my family and thanks to the new medication, I was actually able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner! Hallelujah!

Point of the story: Living with chronic illness means living boldly and sometimes living boldly means advocating and standing up for yourself even against doctors when the time calls for it. You know your body better than anyone. Trust yourself.

[bctt tweet=”Living with chronic illness means living boldly which can mean standing up for yourself even against doctors.”]

And be thankful. Always.